On the Oregon Trail: Community Theaters

Cats, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton, The Lion King. Sound familiar?!

The rumble of applause, the hush over the audience when the curtain goes up, the stage makeup and costumes—there truly is something magical about the world of theater. And you don’t have to travel to New York or London to see it; our towns have amazing talent. For example, Grants Pass and Medford, Oregon, are home to some incredible local theaters.!

Over the past year, it’s been nearly impossible to enjoy the theater and live performances. This has made it hard for many to survive. Thankfully, the Collaborative Theater Project in Medford, Barnstormers Community Theater in Grants Pass, and the Randall Theatre in Medford are currently producing shows. Barnstormers, in Grants Pass is open, but currently only able to seat 28 audience members in its 88-seat theater. However, they are consistently selling out shows. They also offer virtual viewing experiences.!

“We have gotten accustomed to the hybrid format of performing to both in-person and virtual audiences. The silver lining of the pandemic is that we have reached national, sometimes even international, audiences that would otherwise have never seen our shows,” said Annie Freeman Sabel, Executive Director at Barnstormers. The Collaborative Theater Project (CTP) and the Craterian, both in Medford, and the Camelot Theater in Talent, are other great staples in the Oregon theater community. CTP is open and operating with six shows scheduled for 2021. Lastly, the Randall Theatre, also in Medford is now a part of the Ghostlight Playhouse. They are open and operating with some wonderful performances. Ghostlight Playhouse is a new entertainment venue which features Randall Theatre productions, live bands, comedy performances, karaoke, and more. Randall Theater has three productions coming up this year that are must see, either in person or virtually.!

Bravo to all!

For more community stories like this, read In Our Community.

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